Worcestershire CCC are finalising their pre-season fixture programme – home and abroad – ahead of the 2016 campaign.

The County are pencilled in to play Essex, Derbyshire and a UAE X1 in a mixture of T20, 50 over and red ball cricket when they return to Abu Dhabi in early March for the third successive year.

But they will also have at least seven days cricket in this country on their return from the UAE ahead of the opening County Championship match with Kent at New Road beginning on April 10.

Worcestershire will take on Somerset in a two day friendly at Taunton on March 28-29 and also play local Warwickshire at Edgbaston on April 5-6.

But in between they will face Oxford MCCU in a three-day first class fixture at The Parks from March 31 to April 2.

In previous seasons, this fixture has taken place AFTER the first Championship match but its position in the 2016 calendar means it will in effect provide another warm-up match ahead of the Kent fixture.

Worcestershire Assistant Coach Matt Mason said: "The itinerary is carefully planned to hopefully make sure that all the players are firing on all cylinders when the Championship fixtures get underway.

"The players will enjoy and benefit from the warm weather training and matches in the UAE after a winter of training at New Road and Malvern College and is something they always look forward to.

"But equally it is important then to get in matches in English conditions under their belt on their return – overs in the legs of the bowlers and time at the crease for the batsmen."

March 28-29 – SOMERSET (TAUNTON) – two-day friendly

March 31-April 2 – OXFORD MCCU (THE PARKS) – first class friendly

April 5-6 – WARWICKSHIRE (Edgbaston) – two-day friendly